TRUST OWNERSHIP OF WWFC
(first published October 2019 - reseached and edited by Paul Lewis - Chairboys on the Net - @GasManCOTN)
The following is a multi-part potted history of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club while under Trust ownership from June 2012 until July 2019.
All these news items were originally documented by www.chairboys.co.uk but are brought together here for the first time, in chronological order, as a source of information at the time of the takeover proposals in October 2019.
All information and links provided in good faith. If you have any ammendments or suggestions of significant missing factual information, please get in touch.
April 2012 until July 2013
A hectic first season in charge for the Trust
CLUB TAKEOVER SOON?|
(Sunday 29th April 2012)
Chairboys on the Net understands that the ownership of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club is set to placed in the hands of the Supporters Trust and a Press Confererence has provisionally been arranged for Wednesday (2nd May). The news follows reports in the Evening Standard on Friday that former Wasps player Ken Moss is heading a consortium to take over the rugby club that will be finalised if Wasps confirm their Premiership survival following their last game of the season on Saturday 5th May at Adams Park against Newcastle. Meanwhile, the situation regarding the Wanderers follows the non-filing of the Club Accounts for the 2010/11 season by the March 2012 deadline and the subsequent resignation of the two Trust Board reps on the Football Club Board.
(Thursday 3rd May 2012)
There is nothing to play for at the foot of League One apart from pride after he final three relegation spots in League One were confirmed a week ahead of the final day of the season. Chesterfield and Exeter City will join Wycombe in League Two next season, along with Rochdale. Wanderers will look back on the 2011/12 season as period where they conceeded the most goals in a single season since promotion to the Football League in 1993. The goals against tally this season of 86, prior to the trip to Hillsborough, is ten higher than the previous worst during the relegation season of 2009/10. However, the goals for total of 65 is the highest the Wanderers have ever achieved in the third tier, bettering the previous best of 63 during the 1995/96 season.
League One - bottom 6
up to and including 28 April 2012
PL W D L GF GA Pts GD
19.Walsall 45 9 20 16 50 57 47 -7
20.Leyton Orient45 12 11 22 47 75 47 -28
21.Wycombe 45 11 10 24 65 86 43 -21
22.Chesterfield 45 10 12 23 54 78 42 -24
23.Exeter City 45 10 11 24 44 73 41 -29
24.Rochdale 45 8 14 23 46 79 38 -33
TRUST TAKEOVER CONFIRMED|
(Monday 14th May 2012)
A joint statement from Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and Wycombe Wanderers Trust has confirmed the previously reported plans for the Trust to takeover the ownership of the Football Club. Chairboys on the Net were first to break the news on Sunday 29th April 2012 but an official announcement was delayed as negotiations have been ongoing. The statement says, "Whilst there remain a number of issues to be resolved and agreed, including agreement from WWFC shareholders regarding possible changes to their shareholder rights, to enable the deal to take place, both parties are confident a deal can be finalised in the coming weeks."
Read full story here
WANDERERS CLOSE COE|
(Friday 8th June 2012)
Wanderers have closed their 'Center of Excellence' with immediate effect. A joint statement from Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and Wycombe Wanderers Trust on Friday 8th June 2012 revealed the news and cited the increased demands of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) where Clubs could be limited to recieving a maximum of £70,000 in transfer fees for a player they had developed, as the main reason behind the decision.
Read more and full statement
YOUTH DEPT SURVIVAL HOPE|
(Thursday 21st June 2012)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust issued a statement on Thursday (21st June) that, in light of the recent closure of the Centre of Excellence, they are exploring the possibilities of allowing a youth department to continue in existence. A proposal will be presented to parents of the players affected on Monday 25th June. The statement added, "It is clear that this venture will need substantial and on-going external funding in order to remain viable, however there was considerable support for an alternative to closure voiced at a recent meeting of the Centre of Excellence parents"
Read full statement on Trust website.
Note: Since this article was first published, the statement has been removed from the Trust website.
TAKEOVERS TO BE CONFIRMED|
(Wednesday 27th June 2012)
Chairboys on the Net understands that the takeover of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club by Wycombe Wanderers Trust will be finalised and officially announced before the end of the week. The Club and Trust issued a joint statement on 14 May 2012 saying the deal was in the final stages of negotiations. A press release could be issued as early Thursday 28th June. COTN also understands that the deal to conclude the sale of London Wasps is also nearing completion, with a statement possible on Friday 29th June.
YOUTH RESCUE PLAN HALTED|
(Thursday 28th June 2012)
A rescue plan to save Wanderers' Centre of Excellence and Youth Team has been controversially halted after last minute concerns over financing. Meetings held at the Club earlier this week between representatives of the Football Club, Wycombe Wanderers Trust and parents of the players resulted in the following statement being issued by the Football Club via the Bucks Free Press website, "Wycombe Wanderers can confirm that the Club’s position regarding the closure of the Centre of Excellence has not changed. The Club were aware of an exploratory proposal presented on Monday at Adams Park. However, we regret to confirm that the decision to close the Centre of Excellence taken by the Club and Wycombe Wanderers Trust will not be reversed.” However, the statement has caused confusion after the Wycombe Wanderers Elite Development Centre website said that the Club and the Football League had agreed to support the proposal.
TRUST COMPLETE TAKEOVER|
(Friday 29th June 2012)
The expected takeover of Wycombe Wanderers Football Club by Wycombe Wanderers Trust was confirmed at around 8pm on Friday evening. The news followed hectic last minute negotiations to bring the deal to a close before the end of the month. The deal will see two new companies formed, one to control the Football Club operations and another (Frank Adams Legacy Ltd), responsible for Adams Park, the Training Ground and the heritage aspects of the Club. A members meeting has been arranged for Monday (2nd July) and for non-members on Tuesday (3rd July), to explain the new setup in more detail. The deal, on the same day that current owner Steve Hayes relinquished his ownership of London Wasps, sees Hayes sell his stake in the Football Club that he had fully owned since his controversial takeover in July 2009 and the equally controversial conversion of the former members club to a PLC in July 2004.
Read full statement on the Trust website.
TRUST TAKEOVER MEETINGS|
(Monday 2nd July 2012)
Another busy day for the Wycombe Wanderers Trust on Monday as they held a Press Conference and then a Members meeting in order to communicate more details of the takeover of the Football Club. Key news from a football point of view was that the Annual Accounts for the 2010/2011 season have now been filed with Companies House and the Transfer Embargo placed by the Football League has since been lifted. The accounts will show a 'trading loss' of around £1.5m but the net loss will be reduced due to £1m income from player sales. The revised Football Club Board will see Don Woodward take on the role of 'Joint Chairman' alongside existing Chairman Ivor Beeks. The members meeting attracted an audience of close to 200 people. A further meeting for non-members is arranged for Tuesday (3rd July).
ACCOUNTS FILED FOR 2010/11|
(Tuesday 10th July 2012)
Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Ltd annual accounts for the year ending 30th June 2011 have now been filed with Companies House and made available via the Trust website. The accounts confirm an 'Operating Loss' of £1.22m during the 2010/11 'League Two' season compared to £1.17m the previous season in 'League One'. These figures take into account a profit on the sale of players of £510K for the 2010/11 season compared to £523K the previous campaign. Meanwhile, turnover for the year was £4.5m compared to £4.9m the previous season, while the operating costs dropped to £6.38m from £6.84m.
WASPS DEAL COMPLETED|
(Friday 14th September 2012)
The sale of London Wasps has finally been confirmed, more than two months following the exchange of contracts. As expected, former Wasps player Ken Moss played an important role in the development of the consortium that purchased the Club from former Wanderers owner Steve Hayes. A statement on the Wasps website states, "Under the new ownership structure, the majority of office staff will be based at Twyford Avenue, the Club’s training ground, as a full separation from Wycombe Wanderers." The statement continues, "London Wasps will continue to play at Adams Park for the foreseeable future, with the new owners placing a long-term priority on developing a new Stadium for the Club." The news finally brings to an end Steve Hayes' ownership of London Wasps, dating back to December 2008.
Read full statement on the London Wasps website.
GARY WADDOCK SACKED|
(Saturday 22nd September 2012)
The dismissal of Wanderers Manager Gary Waddock was confirmed at around 6.20pm on Saturday evening - just over an hour after Wycombe had gone down 1-0 at home to Wimbledon in a match that marked the start of the Club's 125th year celebrations. A short statement on the Club's official website read, "Manager Gary Waddock has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect. The club would like to thank Gary for his efforts during his time at the club and wish him every success for the future. A further statement will be made on Monday.". Waddock was appointed as Wanderers boss in October 2009, taking over from Peter Taylor, but he couldn't prevent Wycombe being relegated back to 'League Two' at the end of the 2009/10 campaign. However, he led Wanderers to automatic promotion the following season with a third place finish. But a disappointing season back in 'League One' led to an immediate return to the basement division. Wanderers defeat to Wimbledon means they have not won a home League match since March 2012 and have won just won game in the last 15 attempts in the League.
AINSWORTH IS CARETAKER|
(Monday 24th September 2012)
Gareth Ainsworth has been appointed as 'Caretaker' Manager of the Wanderers following the dismissal of Gary Waddock after Saturday's home defeat to Wimbledon. The 39 year old will be assisted by Richard Dobson. Joint Chairman Don Woodward commented, "Gareth’s a leader and a winner. He’s an inspirational figure who has the full respect of everyone connected with the Club and it was an easy decision to make." Woodward went on to add that the Club had already received 'a number of applications from high-calibre managers'. The new Manager would become Wanderers 11th since gaining promotion to the Football League. Waddock was Wanderers'second longest serving Manager as a Football League club, with just under three years of service. Lawrie Sanchez has been the longest serving to date with four and half years at Adams Park. Martin O'Neill spent just over five years with the Wanderers but the first three and a half seasons were during the Club's Conference days.
DIRECTOR STEPS DOWN|
(Friday 12th October 2012)
The Club confirmed on Friday afternoon that Brian Kane had resigned from the Football Club Board of Directors. The 66 year old commented via the official website, "A combination of personal and family travel commitments, coupled with a significant increase in workload in certain other charitable responsibilities, has meant the time I can devote to club matters is below the level at which I believe I can make a contribution that I would feel was appropriate and meaningful. At the same time I am also of the opinion that after over twelve years as a director of the club, it is an opportune time to step down and allow the next generation of leadership to have their time at the helm." Kane originally joined the Club Board in August 2000 as Vice Chairman and became part of a team of new faces that would seek new investment in the Football Club. He later formed part of the new PLC Board, following an EGM in July 2004 to scrap the members structure . Four years later, he was involved again as part of Steve Hayes' 100% takeover. During his time with the Club in provided an interest free loan to the Club ammounting to around £50,000 but this was paid back in full in 2009/10.
DAVID CONN ON WYCOMBE|
(Wednesday 17th October 2012)
The fans takeover of Wanderers was featured in detail in an online article from renowned sportwriter David Conn. The article comments on the long negotiations with then owner Steve Hayes, saying these "..were not always happy, the trust and Hayes agreed a deal which appears fair to both. Hayes wrote off around £4m of loans, sold the club and the ground, leaving £1.5m owed to him, which the trust has 10 years to pay off."
Read the full article via The Guardian online
IVOR BEEKS TO STEP DOWN|
(Thursday 1st November 2012)
It's been confirmed that Ivor Beeks intends to step down as Chairman of Wycombe Wanderers in January 2013, after just over 24 years in that role. Beeks, now 70 years old, originally joined the Football Club board in August 1986 and went on to take over from Brian Lee as Chairman in August 1988. He has remained Chairman of the Club through various structure and ownership changes. Most recently, in June 2012, he became Joint Chairman, along with Don Woodward, of the Trust owned Club. The news was confirmed at a Trust members meeting held on Wednesday 31st October, where it was also suggested he would continue on the Board of the Football Club.
WASPS OWE WWFC £400K|
(Thursday 1st November 2012)
Wanderers financial situation is not being helped by an outstanding debt of £400,000 from ground tenants London Wasps. The figure was revealed at the Trust members meeting on 31st October where Trust representatives also explained the difficulty surrounding the take over of both the Football Club and Rugby Club during the first half of the year and the extreme way the finances of the two Club were entwined. The news follows the publication of the delayed accounts for London Wasps for the 2010/11 season. The accounts confirm a loss of around £2m for the 2010/11 season with liabilities of around £10m. Comments from the Auditor added, "These conditions, indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern".
TRUST REVEALS DEBT|
(Thursday 1st November 2012)
A well attended Wycombe Wanderers Trust meeting on Wednesday 31st October 2012 gave members the chance to hear and quiz the Trust Board on the current situation at the Club. A significant point revealed at the meeting, and in response to the recently published David Conn article, included confirmation that the outstading debt to Steve Hayes was £2m. This was payable, interest free, in 15 annual installments starting June 2014. A presentation made at the meeting has since been made available
via the Trust website at wycombewandererstrust.com.
AINSWORTH APPOINTED BOSS|
(Thursday 8th November 2012)
The Club confirmed on Thursday morning (8th November) that Gareth Ainsworth had been appointed as Manager of Wycombe Wanderers on an initial contract until the end of the current season. The 39 year old has been acting as Caretaker Manager since Gary Waddock was sacked on 22nd September. He becomes Wycombe's 11th Manager since gaining promotion to the Football League in 1993. Commenting on his appointment, Ainsworth said, "I’m delighted and honoured to be the manager of Wycombe Wanderers. The Club has a big history of successful managers and I will be giving it my all to join that list." He added, "The way the players and fans have responded to me in these seven weeks has been magnificent and if we carry on in the same vein, it can only be good for Wycombe Wanderers."
TRUST FINANCIAL CONCERNS|
(Friday 8th February 2013)
Don Woodward, the Chairman of Wycombe Wanderers Trust, has been quoted as saying he could be forced to sell the Club if the present financial situation is not improved. In an interview published in the Friday edition of the Bucks Free Press, Woodward said, "If the banks all finally
say no and there's no capital raising and Wasps don't pay us, then I'll have no option but to sell
the club having done all the work." He added, "It wouldn't be a disaster because the supporters would
still own the ground and the club would hopefully then be well financed and moving up the leagues, but it wouldn't be a supporter-run club." Woodward claimed that he had already 'had a few calls' from interested parties but went on to say that an alternative plan was to raise between £250,000 and £1m from a new share issue.
TRUST ADMIN WARNING|
(Tuesday 26th February 2013)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust officials have warned the Club could go into administration unless £250,000 is raised as a matter of urgency and are proposing the sale of the Club's Training Ground on the Marlow Road to help resolve the situation.
Read full story from chairboys.co.uk
CLUB WINDING-UP PETITION|
(Monday 4th March 2013)
A winding up petition on Wycombe Wanderers Football Club Limited has been served by the Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs. The Trust have issued a response saying "The Club are working with the HRMC to settle this amount and matters are progressing towards an amicable and workable end."
Read full story from chairboys.co.uk
(Tuesday 5th March 2013)
Wanderers joint Chairman Don Woodward has reassurred supporters through the local press that the winding up petition served against the Club by the HMRC on 11th February 2013 is just 'procedure' and that action taken since that date to raise the necessary cash gives him confidence that the situation will be sorted prior to the court hearing on 25th March.
Read full story from chairboys.co.uk
(Monday 25th March 2013)
Wanderers’ court hearing with the HMRC has been adjourned until Monday 13th May following the hearing on Monday (25th March). An official statement following the outcome saw Wanderers Joint-Chairman Don Woodward say, “We have been and will continue to work with the HMRC to resolve the situation. We are grateful for their patience and understanding as the club work through their financial issues." The HMRC served the Club with a winding-up petition on 4th March 2013. Press reports have indicated that the debt to the HMRC now totals £107,861. Meanwhile, the sale of the Club's training ground for £350,000 has yet to be confirmed, while the Annual Accounts, due on 31st March 2013, had yet to be filed with Companies House.
TRUST MEMBERS TO VOTE|
(Tuesday 9th April 2013)
Wycombe Wanderers Trust Members will vote on Wednesday 10th April 2013 whether they officially approve of the sale of Wanderers Training Ground for £350,000 to an anonymous consortium.
Read full story from chairboys.co.uk
GAZ AGREES NEW DEAL|
(Monday 22nd April 2013)
Gareth Ainsworth has agreed to a new two year deal as Manager of the Wanderers. The news was announced at around 11am on Monday and also included the news that the Wycombe Manager will retire from the playing side following the final game of the season on Saturday at home to Port Vale. If Ainsworth appears it would be his 600th professional competitive First Team appearance during a career that started at Preston North End in 1992. Commenting on his new deal to the official website, Ainsworth said, "I’m honoured, proud and very, very thankful to everyone that has supported me in any way that they have." He added, "This is enormous for me and I’m really thankful to everyone who has helped me achieve this. I want to repay the Trust and all the supporters by working so hard and bringing back the glory years. I’ll give it my best shot, I promise you."
WYCOMBE FINISH 15th|
(Saturday 27th April 2013)
Wanderers finished the 2012/13 season in 15th place in the 'League Two' having recovered from being bottom of the table as of 17th November 2012. It's Wycombe lowest finishing position in 20 seasons in the Football League but will still be a satisfactory one for a Club ending their first season under the control of the Trust. Wycombe's last 30 games of the season under Gareth Ainsworth had them 7th in the 'League Two' form table. Champions of the 'League Two' were Gillingham, with Rotherham and Port Vale the other two clubs automatically promoted. Burton, Cheltenham, Northampton and Bradford fight it out in the play-offs. Barnet and Aldershot and relegated to the Conference National, with Mansfield coming in the other direction. Wrexham play Newport County in the Conference play-off final for the other place in the Football League. Coming down to 'League Two' from 'League One' are Scunthorpe, Bury, Hartlepool and Portsmouth. The 2013/14 Football League season kicks off on Saturday 3rd August 2013. The fixtures will be released on Wednesday 19th June 2013 at 9am.
WINDING UP DISMISSED|
(Monday 13th May 2013)
A statement by the Club released on Monday (13th May) regarding the court appearance relating to the Winding Up Petition served by the HMRC read, "Wycombe Wanderers can confirm that the club has settled its outstanding tax bill with HM Revenue & Customs. Wanderers were represented in the High Court today where the winding up petition that they faced was dismissed. Joint-chairman Don Woodward said: “The High Court hearing was a formality and we would like to thank HMRC for their cooperation. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure the club can progress and we are confident that plans are in place to make this happen.” The exact figure of the bill has not been revealed but has been fully covered by the £350,000 sale of the Club's training facilty to an, as yet, unknown consortium said to be 'life long' Wanderers supporters.
2011/12 ACCOUNTS FILED|
(Friday 31st May 2013)
The Club have filed their accounts for the year ending 30th June 2012. The period covers the year leading up to the takeover by the Trust. Key figures revealed include an operating loss of £0.6m after a profit on player sales of almost £0.982m. Meanwhile £3.9mworth of loans from Steve Hayes were waived during the transfer of the Club to the newly formed companies involved with running the Club, leaving an outstanding loan of £2m at the date of transfer. COTN understands the filing of the accounts with Companies House now leads the way to lift the transfer embargo that would have resulted from the late filing of the accounts, that were due to be filed by the end of March 2013. Accounts for the previous season (2010/11) were filed in July 2012.
Download full accounts via wycombewandererstrust.com
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRUST|
(Monday 1st July 2013)
This weeks marks the first anniversary of the Trust taking over the Club. In a statement to members. Trust Chairman Trevor Stroud said, "To say the last twelve months have been interesting would be an understatement, but if I had to summarise the situation, it would be we are moving in the right direction." He went on to add, "It is our intention to publish the accounts of the Football Club for the year ending June 30th 2013 within weeks, rather than the usual months, and although these will still show a loss, there will be a significant improvement in the overall position."
Read the full statement at wycombewandererstrust.com
Summer of 2013 through to survival day at Torquay